Letter to DDA Vice Chairman to Stop FAR Construction in Housing Societies
October 4, 2020
By Rakesh Raman
As the floor area ratio (FAR) construction in the occupied cooperative group housing societies (CGHS) is a criminal activity, I have written a letter to Mr Anurag Jain, Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to get FAR stopped. The excerpts from my letter are given below.
1. All residents of Delhi who are being forced by the corrupt managing committee (MC) members of their housing societies to accept FAR construction must protest openly against the FAR activity.
2. FAR construction is an illegal activity as it deprives people of their fundamental right to live in a clean, pollution-free, and disease-free environment.
3. Since the Indian Constitution guarantees to protect the fundamental rights of every citizen, FAR construction cannot take place even if one member of a housing society opposes it. Therefore, the majority of the members cannot decide to carry out FAR construction.
4. The corrupt MC members of housing societies show a vague government notification to start FAR projects. But that notification cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. So, FAR without the consent of all the members in a housing society is a criminal act.
5. Some criminal MCs are deceptively combining the FAR extension with building repairs so that they could extort money from those members who do not accept FAR, as FAR cannot be imposed on all the members. But since long-term repairs are as harmful as FAR, members must not pay any money for FAR construction or repairs.
6. FAR construction projects are being planned and imposed on other members by the corrupt MC members who collude with builders’ mafia and bribe the government officials at DDA to get their flawed extension drawings approved illegally.
7. Some residents who oppose FAR think that they will go to the courts to get FAR construction stopped in their housing societies. But this is a totally wrong strategy. As most courts are working in a perfunctory manner and most lawyers are dishonest and unskilled, courts may not stop FAR projects.
8. Ideally, the members who oppose FAR should explore the administrative channels by filing their complaints collectively against the MC members to get FAR stopped.
9. More importantly, the members who do not want FAR construction should organize public protests and dharnas (sit-ins) by holding placards near their housing societies to get FAR stopped.
Meanwhile, I have sent a letter to the DDA Vice Chairman to get FAR stopped. I have been informed by the DDA Vice Chairman’s office that action is being taken on the complaint that I have sent. The excerpts from my letter are given below.
To September 27, 2020
Mr Anurag Jain, IAS
Delhi Development Authority (DDA)
Vikas Sadan, New Delhi 110 023
CASE: POLLUTION, CORRUPTION, CORONAVIRUS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS WITH ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION IN DELHI’S COOPERATIVE GROUP HOUSING SOCIETIES.
Dear Mr Anurag Jain,
Please refer to my previous letter dated August 11, 2020 about this case. I had filed this case of illegal construction and human rights violations with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India.
A notice dated 27.07.2020 was served to you (DDA) under NHRC directions through the Home Department of Delhi Government. However, it is shocking to note that you have simply ignored the NHRC / Home Department notice while hundreds of thousands of Delhi residents are facing the risks from illegal construction which is also causing coronavirus infection.
As a government / DDA officer, you must realize that your negligence and blatant inaction can be detrimental to the life and property of citizens for which you are responsible. This is also a case of wilful dereliction of duty by you – which is also a form of corruption.
Since you and other DDA staff are brazenly ignoring the public complaints and even statutory notices issued to you by the competent authorities such as the NHRC and the Home Department, you are not supposed to manage the work of a public office such as the DDA. Therefore, you must be removed from your position immediately.
While as the Vice Chairman of DDA, you are working in an irresponsible manner, the NHRC informed me through an email dated 25.09.2020 that another notice has been sent directly to you so that you could take an appropriate action in this case.
Although the NHRC has once again given you 8 weeks’ time to respond, you are urged to take immediate action to stop this avoidable construction which is causing enormous hardships to men, women, and children who live in Delhi’s housing societies.
If you failed to take immediate action to stop this lethal construction, I would urge the NHRC and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to take punitive action against you, which may lead to the suspension or termination of your service for your carelessness and wilful dereliction of duty.
I hope that you will not succumb to any pressure or influence and take the right decision to save people from this horrific scourge called the FAR construction.
REQUEST FOR ACTION
1. The DDA should advertise in local newspapers and through its website that the ongoing FAR construction in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies is stopped with immediate effect.
2. The DDA should not give permission for new FAR projects in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies.
3. The DDA should identify and take action against all those officials – particularly in the DDA Building Department – who have been giving permission for FAR construction even on dubious architectural drawings and then did not stop FAR construction projects that violated the DDA conditions.
4. The DDA can take any other action that will save people from construction and pollution, and thus will protect their fundamental / human rights to live in a clean, pollution-free, disease-free, and peaceful environment.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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